Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

The Male Hubris Effect vs. the Female Humility Effect

September 16, 2017 Uncategorized 0

A few years ago, a male social scientist in the UK did a meta-analysis of 30 major global studies of male and female business leadership.

His findings were interesting.

He found that men in general tended to be confident about their abilities, while women tended to low ball their abilities and accomplishments.

In fact, men are so good at promoting their abilities, they often – believe it or not – exaggerate their abilities and their I.Q., what the U.K. social scientist branded “The Male Hubris Effect.”

Women, on the other hand, tend to lowball their abilities and I.Q., what he dubbed, “The Female Humility Effect.”

The Hubris/Humility Effect shows up in different industries and in different countries.

Bottom line, women judge their abilities worse than they actually are and men judge their abilities as better than they are.

Hey ladies, we have to change this!

The communication style of female vs male airline pilots

May 14, 2015 Uncategorized 0

The communication style of female vs male airline pilots

In studies done of airline pilots, female captains tended to use an obligation statement

like “I think we need to deviate to the right now” and the male captains tended to use a

direct command like “Turn 30 degrees to the right.”

So the female captains in a leadership role were using a high power style of

communication (Number 2 on the scale of mitigated language, not the strongest, direct

command approach).

Female pilots tent to chose a softer way of speaking that was more inclusive of the team

and consequently preferred by other crew members.

The problem with mitigated language in business

May 12, 2015 Uncategorized 0

The problem with mitigated language in business

Asking a question or seeking team consensus or dropping a hint is certainly more polite

and deferential than a command and can be the best choice in certain situations.

But mitigated language is inherently more confusing.

What is the speaker trying to say? Where does she stand? What should we do?

Degrees of mitigation in business talk

May 10, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Let’s look at the various degrees of mitigated language you might use in a professional

situation with others:

1. Command: Strategy X is our plan.

2. Obligation Statement: We need to try strategy X.

3. Suggestion: Why don’t we do strategy X?

4. Question: What do you think of strategy X?

5. Preference: Maybe we should look at one of these alternatives

6. Hint: I wonder if there are problems with our current plan.

The top three of are high power, command and control styles of communication

associated with men or senior-ranking people.

The bottom three examples of more mitigated speech are lower power communication

styles and tend to be favored by women or people of lower status.

Beware of Low Power Talk

May 8, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Women tend to use a verbal style called “mitigated” speech that is more collaborative and

cooperative (Don’t you think we should…”) or that deals with disagreement in terms that

make it easier to swallow (“I can see why you might think that, but…”).

Mitigated speech is the polite indirect talk that experts associate with a lower power

person talking to someone of higher status.

When they want to get a group to do something, women are more likely to use mitigated

language and say, “Let’s” or even just drop a hint (“I wonder if”) rather than exert their

personal power and make a direct command or ask a clear, specific question.

Men tend to have more hierarchical groups than girls and tend to use explicit language to

get what they want, like “Give me” or “I want.” Men also tend to challenge, disagree and

interrupt more.


While women’s way of talking in more polite and community minded, it’s not always the

best communication choice. It depends upon the situation.

Do women talk more than men?

May 4, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Women have a rep for taking more and even faster than men, whether…Deserved? The

results are mixed.

For every study showing that women talk more and link our loquacity to a special

“language” gene, there’s another study that shows men talk more or that it’s about even.

Based on personal observation, I side with the women talk more camp and feel that

our communications strength can a tremendous asset as we learn how to use it to our


Plaid Hipster CEO

January 20, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Plaid pants might not appear on your body other than when

you’re heading to a golf course, but entrepreneur CEO Blake

Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, cultivates a hip maverick


He has a collection of plaid pants and he’s worn them to

the White House on visits to presidents Bush and Obama.

(Guess that made the small talk easy.)

Mycoskie credits his grandmother with introducing him

to bright colors and eccentric clothing choices, which

she favored because she thought it made her more


And Mycoskie has synced his visual identity and verbal

identity to create a personal brand that’s a mashup of

Indiana Jones and Robin Hood.

Mycoskie brands himself as the “chief shoe giver” to

underscore the fact that TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a

poor child for every pair that it sells. Most mornings he works

in a brightly colored striped bathrobe from his houseboat,

a Jeanneau 53 named Satori, the Japanese word for


Fashion Forward First Lady

January 14, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Chic and modern, Michelle Obama takes control of her brand image and clothing choices. She’s too smart not to use the branding power of clothes to her advantage as First Lady of the United States. In the U.S., we haven’t talked about a First Lady’s clothes this much since Jackie Kennedy was First Lady. Obama has a high–low thing going on. She wears high- end designer fashions one day and Main Street J. Crew or Target labels the next. What’s interesting about her designer selections is that she tends to favor immigrant American designers like Jason Wu, Isabel Toledo, Doo-Ri Chung, and Maria Pinto, choices that haven’t endeared Mrs. Obama to American establishment designers like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Oscar de la Renta. By choosing ethnically diverse up-and-coming designers along with Main Street or discount fashions, she’s sending messages in line with the political philosophy of her husband, President Obama. important as her visual identity to chance or to the whims of others. She and her trusted style advisers keep control of her clothing and accessory selections, and she is known to bring her own clothes for a magazine shoot rather than wear what the magazine’s stylist has arranged. She is clearly in charge of her brand. Michelle Obama doesn’t leave something as